In a recent interview at the Transport + Energy Forum, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, WHO BreatheLife Ambassador and Founder/Director of the Ella Roberta Foundation called for a “just transition” to net zero.
She said: “Most people here can afford an electric vehicle (EV). My worry is looking at the wider population, with cost of living crisis and ‘heat or eat’ people, whether they are part of the transition we are going through.”
Rosamund is a grassroots campaigner raising awareness of asthma and the health problems that can be caused by air pollution, following the death of her 9-year old daughter, Ella Roberta, in 2013. Ella is the first person in the world to have air pollution listed as a cause of death on her death certificate.
In the interview, Rosamund appealed to the government to invest in public transport and promote alternative active travel, “clinging onto petrol and diesel cars is only going to impact on our health at the other end.”
She believes that the UK is in a public health crisis: “As I stand here today, 7.74m people are on the NHS waiting list. We know that air pollution impacts every organ in our bodies. We have to lower emissions.” Rosamund argues that the costs of transition will be more than offset by public health savings made by the NHS.
Rosamund was able to use her participation at the Transport + Energy Forum to spread her message, as well as collaborate with other participants. She was happy to have a conversation with National Grid, “as everyone is concerned about whether we will have enough electricity to make the transition.”
Finally, Rosamund called on government to stop playing party politics, as the transition is about health, economics and the environment.
“It needs to happen, it will benefit our country and we all want a prosperous future. There needs to be a just transition and we need to bring everyone along with us.”
Watch the full interview with Rosamund below:
More about Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah:
Rosamund set up The Ella Roberta Foundation after her daughter’s death. The Foundation believes the Coroner’s recommendations issued after the landmark inquest into Ella’s death have the power to improve air quality for everyone, everywhere. The Foundation’s work is to campaign for these guidelines to be followed by governments, councils, medical professionals and the general public, all over the world. She uses her experience and position to highlight the inequality of those affected by air pollution.
Rosamund is a teacher, lecturer and researcher in psychology and an advocate of Clean Air. She has been awarded a CBE in public health in the Kings Honours list 2023, and is an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association and was named among You Magazine’s 21 Most Extraordinary Women of 2021, British Vogue’s 25 Extraordinary Women of 2021, The Times’ Green Power List 2021 and BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List 2020.